hello again

Starting in January, I disabled the Instagram app from my phone. I later ended up removing the Facebook one as well. Here's what I've learned about myself as a result of that:

Coming into the new year, I knew I could only swim at the fast pace social media demanded for so long. I was exhausted, gulping for air in a digital current sweeping me away. 

So, I made a full stop. 

I found myself on the bank with the sun warming my back. It was slower there. The never ending scroll-river streamed right on by without me for weeks. I was fine with it. 

Oh, sure. I missed that connection. But the peace I discovered up on the shore was too relieving for me to want to dive back in. So I waited it out. I wrote and searched and talked and took long, slow breaths. I listened to the birds. I worked hard on things in my heart and our home. 

I rested my mind.

And now as I (ever so slowly) wade back into the stream of social media sharing, I'm thinking about how I want to move forward. 

There's too much to sum up in one post but, I do know I'm committed to putting  beauty into the world. Whether that's mainly through the channels of social media, my monthly letters or blogging, I'm not sure yet. 

I don't know if anyone actually still reads my blog. Truthfully, I realize I don't need them too. I use this space as a creative outlet. It's where I work out my thoughts, memories and unique perspective on life. 

 It's where I share my story in all it's messy, mundane, marvelous glory. 

If you happen to be one of the sweet readers who stop by here to participate, I'm so grateful for you. 

I'm not giving up on Instagram (not yet anyway, ha!). But I won't be on there near as much.

I will be making time to to invest in fuller, richer work which I'll be sharing here on this blog as well as the letters I send out to inboxes during the month (you can sign up for those HERE.  There's already 200+ hearts that have joined me there and what we're creating together is something special).

Moving forward, I want to be clear about the stories and messages I share publicly. I want it to add to, uplift, and encourage your life. Not subtract or distract from it.

So, in the spirit of honesty, here's a peek into what I'm offering to anyone who happens to invest in what I share, wherever I share it. 

What you won't find here:

  • Content that wastes time--yours or mine. (only do what it needful)
  • Putting out half-hearted offerings
  • The pursuit of things (forever waging that glorious war on clutter!)
  • Making others feel unimportant
  • Anything that contradicts God’s Word

What you will find here: 

  • An honest, fumbling onward-striving pursuit of Jesus Christ
  • The prioritizing of my family 
  • The healing power of imagination, story and beauty (more on this soon!)
  • Meaningful, connective offerings
  • A space to feel valued, seen and heard
  • The commitment to diligence (not giving up)
  • Positive thinking rooted in the hope of my Savior 

I'm happy to have had this month to sort out the clutter--both literally and figuratively--that I'd allowed to gather in my life.

I'm entering February with a lighter heart and calmer soul. 

All glory to God for what He has done.

Scout - six months

We've lived over half a year with our girl. 

It's been both slow and fast. Joyful and full of soul-growing hardship. I wouldn't change a thing. 

In some ways, the first twelve months of your baby's life can feel like riding a train. You sit there in your seat and the immediate surroundings inside the train car don't change all that much as you travel. And perhaps you are so focused on being inside the train that you don't think much about how fast you're traveling. Sure, you can stare out the window at the earth rolling by and perhaps you even occasionally notice a gently sway that conveys movement. But then, full stop.  All of the sudden, you arrived. We're at six months already?!

"Is she always this happy and content?"

That question get asked a lot anytime people interact with Scout. Our answer: "Yes! Unless she's hungry or tired, she really is this sweet most of the time." 

Everyone who meets her is smitten and so are we, indescribably so. 

She's got mama's eyes and daddy's hair. Behr is her favorite playmate (the feeling is adorably mutual). She squeals and scoots and laughs all day long. Her favorite thing to do to us is reach out her pudgy paws, arms outstretched, and proceed to slap our faces with vigorous delight. 

We love watching her grow and pack on those rolls (one pediatrician referred to her as "a very firm baby" Haha!). We love how effortlessly she fits into our family.

We love her. 

I hold our girl in my arms and can't help but think of the verse, Luke 4:38: "..give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be put into your lap..." 

She is immeasurably more than we hoped for all along. We still haven't recovered from the wonder of being gifted our Scout. 

Dear Mimi, 

You are the definition of delight. Your mama is usually fairly confident about stringing word together to describe things, but when it comes to you, all the appropriate adjectives fall short. So, sometimes I don't even try and instead just focus on memorizing every precious part of you at this age. Your brother can't get enough of you and your daddy has a special voice reserved just for you. The way you light them up causes me to pause so often and think, "These are the years, the ones building the foundation of our family's history. We're living out those golden memories right this minute." We thank Jesus everyday for the gift of being entrusted with you. Please don't ever stop being the bright, soft determined little light that you are. 

Love, Mama, Daddy and Behr. 

(for a fun side-by-side comparison, you can view Behr's six month portraits here)


One week into my Instagram detox and I'm wondering why I didn't do this sooner. 

I can't pinpoint where it all started but the simple act of getting to the end of the day was like slogging though swampland. I felt weighted down emotionally, physically and emotionally. When I start feeling like I don't have enough hours in the day or that there's not enough of me to go around, I have to ask what it is I need to let go of. 

Instagram was at the top of the list. 

The bottomless scrolling, the buzz at the back of my mind telling me I "needed" to post something, it was draining me. So, when I saw that Amanda Watters was hosting a a Rest Retreat from social media on her Homesong blog, I knew it was time. The new year began and, after months of feeling the nudge break from Instagram, I did just that. I disabled the little app on my phone and instantly felt lighter. 

Yes, I've missed it, but not in the way I thought I would. 

Lately, I've been asking myself the question: Is it needful? 

I've been asking it when it comes to the objects in our home (do we really need this?) 

I've been asking it about what I eat (is this type of food necessary or can I reach for something healthier?)

And obviously, I'm asking it about what things I allow to occupy my time (is this a necessary activity, can it be let go?)

Right now, Instagram does not fall into the category of needful.

What does fall into that category:

  • Prioritizing my quiet time with Jesus which has been inexcusably neglected. 
  • Getting back to making nourishing meals for my family. 
  • Taking the time to pursue writing; to hone my craft.
  • Spending unhindered time with my children. 
  • Organizing our home and getting rid of anything that does not, as Marie Kondo put it, "spark joy". 

It feels weird to post on this blog and not also share about it on Instagram (where the bulk of my audience is). I worry that no one will see this post but me, but maybe that's ok? Maybe I need to write for me first and not for what I think will get me the most attention. I might not be posting daily updates for awhile and I'm ok with that. For now, I'll be sitting here, at our dining table turned temporary office space and working out what needs letting go and what is worthy of pursuit for our life. 

Overall, things are quieter around here.

I like the sound of that.